Giant Old IBM Computers Used in Early Star Wars Defense

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On Guard! The Story of SAGE is the amazing tale of a wacky precursor to the Star Wars nuclear defense plan. SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) was the first computer system used for American air defense during the Cold War. SAGE was built to prevent enemy bombers from coming unnoticed into US airspace. Images of children playing or sleeping punctuate the reasons for such tight security. The computer is astonishingly huge by modern standards, taking up two floors of IBM’s SAGE building, and containing 56,000 electron tubes. The computer is shown being maintained by well-dressed workers as though it were the queen in a beehive. A veritable museum of old technology, the film contains priceless images of vintage electronics. On Guard! The Story of SAGE is a fun and informative classic film that deserves to be seen.

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